A lot of tea companies sell tea using Fair Trade labelling. This is great – I am in FULL support of paying everyone a fair wage. I often choose fair trade products over non fair trade especially with coffee and chocolate. The reason that we don’t market our teas as fair trade is because the term doesn’t really exist in China.
Of course that doesn’t mean that fair trade does not exist it’s just the term and the labelling of trade as such. China produces a lot of tea (in 2009 they produced approx 1,359,000 tonnes the highest producer of tea in the world!) but China also demands a lot of tea as does the rest of the world. So it seems unlikely that we could approach a farm to buy tea directly from them (which is how we operate), offer a low price and have them accept it despite that meaning they couldn’t make a profit. No they would simply tell us goodbye and move on to the next interested party until they get the price they need.